Did you know that throughout history February 2nd has been a day of celebration? On this day... people would celebrate the coming of Spring and the soon to come end of Winter. In different parts of the world farmers begin tilling the earth on this day, preparing their gardens to be planted. Pretty neat how it is also "Groundhog's Day" where we wait to see if Punxsutawney Phil is going to predict a few more weeks of winter or not. Over time this day has evolved into many different names within many different cultures... Imbolc, St. Brigid's Day, Candlemas.
Whichever name you wish to call this day... it is a day that many use as a time for purification, cleansing, beginning anew... i.e., spring cleaning! It is also a time used for creativity and commitment. So say your new year's resolution didn't quite work out for you over the past four weeks... Well here's another chance.! Start fresh... for now is the time to celebrate all things new. Give your house a thorough cleaning and even yourself! Commit to yourself to make a change... to rid yourself of the lulls of Winter and energize yourself for the coming Spring! Open your windows and let the chilly air and the warm sun cleanse out the stale and stagnant air in your home.
The Romans also celebrated this day by dedicating it to Goddesses Venus and Diana... both Goddesses of Love. The first flower of Spring was associated with these Goddesses hence the timing of this day as well. Not to mention the month of February was named for Goddess Februa... the Goddess of Fresh Starts. So another way to celebrate this day is to decorate for Valentine's Day!
I love how so many things that we do today, whether we take them seriously or consider them folklore, are all interconnected... representing times passed. So have fun with this day... after all... a little head start on Spring Cleaning couldn't hurt right?
I have something very special sitting in those three little jars that you see there... Calendula OilComfrey OilCalendula HoneyWhat are they to be used for? Well... Calendula Officinalis is great for many skin irritations because of it's anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal
, anti-viral, and astringent properties. So therefore this oil could be used for a number of different things such as salves, lip balm, and on it's own. I've also infused some Calendula with honey to use as a facial cleanser! Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a very healing herb that can heal wounds quickly because of it's allantoin properties... it can also stop bleeding and reduce inflammation which makes it the perfect herb to make a salve out of as well.
There are a tons more uses for both Comfrey and Calendula and if you're interested in learning more, I definitely recommend checking Herb Mentor
Here are the materials I gathered to make my infused oils. For the Comfrey oil I will be using Cold Pressed Organic Olive Oil and for the Calendula oil I'm using Almond Oil.
Next I filled my small (8 oz) jars half full with the herbs making sure that they are packed in.
Next I filled my jars up with the designated oil for each herb, making sure to leave about an inch of head space. I just fill up to the first line of the screw top portion. Next I gave them both a stir to get all the herbs and oil combined and to get all the bubbles out... after doing this I noticed the oil levels went down a bit so I made sure to top them off...
Next I cover them up with a paper towel and the screw top ring that came with the jar. The paper towels are used to seep up any moisture and excess oil. I also labeled each jar so I know exactly what they are since they will be sitting for a few weeks before using.
All done! Well... for now... these jars will sit for three weeks total. In the first week I need to stir them every day to make sure the herbs are covered and within the oil otherwise it's possible they could get moldy. Even after the first week it's a good idea to watch them carefully and make sure they are doing well. After the third week I'll be showing you guys how I strain them out and make magickal little goodies out of these awesome herbal infused oils!
I did almost the exact same process for my Calendula infused honey... the only difference was I only filled the jar 1/4 of the way with packed herbs, filled the jar with honey, gave it a stir and screwed on it's regular top. The honey also will sit for three weeks and each day I pass it I will be turning it over and letting it sit so it gives itself a stir.
And just for fun here's my kitty who loves to watch me conjure up our magickal remedies... I'm guessing he's wanting some of that delicious honey too...
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"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
One of my favorite childhood memories while growing up is my mother cooking. She is a wonderful cook... whether following a recipe or conjuring up something on her own (which of course were always my favorite)... she just had a knack for it all. Cooking, baking, entertaining.... Anything that had to do with her being in the kitchen she was great at. One specific memory I have... and it's something that she still takes pride in... is the way she presented her dishes. It's her favorite thing to do. It didn't matter if it was just us kids and she had a long hard work week (she was a single mom and worked harder and longer than anyone I've ever known) she would still present us with meals delicately placed onto beautiful dishes with a garnish here and there. ESPECIALLY breakfast... There is something about my mom and breakfast that makes her want to serve it as though she is running a Bed&Breakfast. Even when she comes to visit... you can fully expect a gorgeous arrangement of treats when you wake up Sunday morning.
I have always enjoyed bringing a meal that I worked hard on to my husband or a guest and watching them taste and enjoy what I've prepared... but to present it in a beautiful way... On a tray, with a flower, a folded napkin... perhaps a miniature salt and pepper shaker for their own personal use... anything at all can bring magick to a meal and it gives me great delight to see the blissful satisfaction of the person eating that meal. Even if it's just you... why not take the opportunity to dish up a simple meal into a delicious and adorable serving for one. The other morning my son was napping, my husband was at work and I was ready for my typical breakfast of yogurt, granola and berries. As I grabbed a little bowl I hesitated for a moment, put the bowl back and went to where I have the glasses and grabbed a little wine glass. I layered the berries, granola yogurt and grabbed a cute little colorful bowl for my cashews. What I would have devoured in a few minutes became a delectable parfait which inspired me to sit down and contently take pleasure in my breakfast.
Take a moment and give this a try. Whether it's for a dinner party or just for yourself... it could be as simple as serving something up in an unusual way, or even looking online to learn how to fold a napkin in an intricate way. Consider grabbing some of those adorable ice cube trays that come in different shapes... perhaps hearts or stars. Be creative and bring some magick into your meals so you can enjoy them with the gratitude and love!
"That's the thing about magic; you've got to know its still here, all around us,
or it just stays invisible for you." ~Charles De Lint
Meet my magickal pie hutch... it has always and forever been one of my favorite things! This hutch has always been in my life since the day I was born. It was a gift to my mother from my father many moons ago and it warms my heart each and every time I pass it. There is definitely magick afoot within these hutch doors... My mother was kind enough to "loan" it to me on our adventurous move to the Midwest and I am currently using it as my herb cabinet! I hope one day I am able to pass it on to my children who will hopefully adore it as much as I do... For I know it will still be standing strong.
Other Magickal HappeningsMade From Scratch